The Natrona County School District board of trustees approved a $327.2 million budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year at its meeting Tuesday.

"This budget is one that is still seeing a slight increase, we've got about a 7 percent increase," said board treasurer Paula Reid.

"Those increases are primarily, not in total but primarily, put in place because of the number of students that we have, and there's new students," Reid said.

"Of course, when you have more kids, then of course you have to buy more supplies, you have to hire more teachers," she said.

However, Reid sounded a cautionary note about the district's fiscal future in light of the sharp drop in oil prices in the past year.

The Legislature is recalibrating the amounts the state allocates to districts, she said. "That could create some loss of revenue because they're all worried about our economy, and the income they're losing."

If the economy stays flat or declines, the county will lose population and the district will lose students, Reid added.

"We could get a double whammy in the future on this," she said.

In the coming year, the board will scrutinize the budget and try to cut any fat, Reid said. "There's going to be things that can be let go."

Here's a general overview of the budget on the expenditure side:

  • Instructional services: $132.4 million.
  • Instructional support services: $25.3 million.
  • General support services: $52.2 million.
  • Capital maintenance services: $10.2 million.
  • Capital construction services: $71.3 million.
  • Recreation board services: $1.9 million
  • Food operation services: $6.0 million
  • Transfer to other funds: $6.0 million.
  • Budget reserve: $21.9 million

To pay for these expenditures, the district is relying on budget carryover and revenues from these sources:

  • Estimated carryover from last year, including money from the general fund, special revenue funds, capital projects fund, and food service fund: $31.7 million.
  • Revenues from local sources: $47.3 million.
  • Revenues from Natrona County sources: $11.6 Million.
  • Revenues from state sources: $210.0 million.
  • Revenues from Federal sources: $20.6 million.
  • Transfers from other funds: $6.0.

During the trustees' meeting on Wednesday,  Dennis Bay, NCSD's Executive Director for Business Services presented the following updates on the construction projects throughout the district:

  • The Academies/Roosevelt High School building has not lost any more time, but remains behind schedule
  • The contractor at Kelly Walsh High School is attempting to lay a parking lot before winter.
  • Teachers continue to move into the new Lincoln Elementary building.

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